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How To Live More Minimally

Paige Maier
Want to learn how to live more minimally? You’re not alone. Due to the chaotic world we now live in, many feel the need to have and spend less, all with the hopes to ultimately need less. Today the average U.S. person has as much individual space in their home as an entire 1950s family once shared (1). Shocking statistic, right? We’ve become a culture that’s drowning in our possessions. And aside from being terrible for our environment, too much stuff can be overwhelming, zap our energy and weigh us down.
As a result of this, the minimalist lifestyle (although not a new concept) is currently trending, and it can really be adopted by anyone. Minimalists believe that possessions we own only serve to distract us from what’s really important, which is, of course, living a joyous life. Minimalism is more of a state of mind, rather than a set of rules, and it can actually mean you have more - just more of what you actually need (peace, time, creativity, freedom, etc.). This can serve to make life a lot less stressful and a lot more fulfilling.
Here are few good places to start on the path to minimalism:
Write down your reasons Having a list of reasons as to why you’d like to live more minimally will kick start things and also help to keep you on track should you ever start to question your actions along the way. Some of your reasons for doing so might include to: save money, feel less stressed or simply have a cleaner, more organized home.
Identify your essentials Clutter can create negative vibes in any space. Once you clear things out and let go of items you don’t need, you’ll feel so refreshed and so will your home. Start the process by writing down what you absolutely can’t live without- the essentials. Be as detailed as possible, as this will make it easier for you to decide what to let go and what to keep.
Get rid of fluff The same shirt in seven different colors, three sets of kitchenware and an entire closet dedicated to holiday décor; you get the picture. Ask yourself: Can I live without this? When was the last time I wore/used this? Could someone else benefit from this more than me? Begin separating “fluff” into donate and sell boxes.
Let go of guilt On the same note, we all inevitably own items that we don’t use or even cherish, yet feel obligated to keep out of guilt. Maybe it’s because it’s something expensive, sentimental or that you’ve hardly made use of (“yet”, you say). But let’s be honest, it’s just collecting dust. We promise your Aunt Carol won’t be upset for giving away that birthday gift she got you seven years ago (or likely even know).

Consuming less should start to become second nature. If you need something for a one-time use, try to borrow from neighbors, friends or family if possible.

Buy less The media teaches us that we need to constantly be buying new clothes, décor and other items to keep up with current trends. Consuming less should start to become second nature, however. If you need something for a one-time use, try to borrow from neighbors, friends or family if possible.
Invest in high-quality When you do have (or want) to buy something new, splurge on high-quality items that will last longer and you’ll cherish more. It will feel nicer to have a sparse home filled with items you appreciate and adore, rather than a home full of things you only sort of like.
Purge on a regular basis Take the time to regularly re-evaluate your stuff to see if anything else has become a distraction or simply unnecessary in your life. If it’s easier, create a purge schedule of sorts. For example, consider going through your closet at the start of each new season and through your garage each summer.
Disassociate from your material belongings To live more minimally also means to detach yourself from what you own. While it’s certainly fine to treasure material items, it’s important to know that these things are temporary sources of joy. The stuff you own does not and will never fuel your happiness. On that note…
Invest in experiences instead of things Make new experiences a part of your days as much as possible. You should easily be able to do this with the extra money you set aside from not indulging in material items as often (or that blowout rummage sale you hold). So instead of purchasing those shiny shoes you’ve been eyeing, invest in a wine tasting class, a concert or a weekend getaway. These things will make memories that last far longer than any item sitting in your closet will.
Unplug and partake in digital sabbaticals regularly Living more minimally isn’t only about de-cluttering physical objects. It’s also about ridding time-wasting activities. Schedule time, maybe an hour, a day or even a whole weekend, to completely unplug from technology. You’ll be surprised at how much more enjoyable moments can be without constant interruptions. Besides, minimalism is the opposite of every advertisement we’re fed by the media.

The more you let go, the more you gain.